*Physics and Astronomy Club*Graduate Studies

**Undergraduate Physics Course Descriptions
**

(*revised December 14, 2015*)

Unless they are identified as *advisory*,
the prerequisites and corequisites listed on this page will be
enforced by the Student Information System during registration.
Students who do not have a required prerequisite may request a
permit from the course instructor to override this requirement.
Students who don't have an advisory prerequisite or corequisite
should consult with the instructor before enrolling in the course

You may find syllabi for these courses posted at http://www.phys.cwru.edu/courses/syllabi/.

Physics faculty teach or have taught a variety of First and University Seminars; you can find a list of these seminars at the bottom of this page.

**PHYS 100. Space, Time and Motion (3) **

An introductory course in physics for students of the liberal
arts. Discussion of how physics is performed, what important
discoveries about natural phenomena have been made by physicists,
and what are the most exciting questions being tackled by
physicists today . Connections to current work appearing in
various popular media will be made. In particular, emphasis is
made on the connections between the fundamental discoveries that
led to our understanding of motion and the nature of light, and
much of the ongoing research at the forefront of modern physics. (*This
course has not been offered since 2002 and there are no plans to
offer it in the near future. For a list of comparable, general
interest physics courses, see the list of SAGES & University
First Seminars at the bottom of this page.*)

**PHYS 101. Distinguishing Science from Pseudo-Science (3)
**

There are many current issues arising in popular discourse,
ranging from the believability of ESP to reincarnation, to "free
energy" machines, which can benefit from simple physical analyses.
This course will provide an introduction to the use of basic
principles of physics to explore the viability of these ideas. A
seminar format will be utilized with specific topics presented by
students and by the instructor. Advisory Prerequisite: PHYS100,
PHYS115, PHYS121 or PHYS123. (*There are no plans to offer this
course in the near future.*)

**PHYS 113A. Principles of Physics Lab?Mechanics (1) **

The laboratory portion of the first semester introductory
physics. Prereq: Departmental permission. (*available fall and
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 113B. Principles of Physics Lab?Electricity and
Magnetism (1) **

The laboratory portion of the second semester of physics. Prereq:
Departmental permission. (*available fall and spring semesters*)

**PHYS 115. Introductory Physics I (4) **

First part of a two-semester sequence directed primarily towards
students working towards a B.A. in science, with an emphasis on
the life sciences. Kinematics; Newton's laws; gravitation; simple
harmonic motion; mechanical waves; fluids; ideal gas law; heat and
the first and second laws of thermodynamics. This course has a
laboratory component. Students may earn credit for only one of the
following courses: PHYS 115, PHYS 121, PHYS 123. (*available
fall and summer*)

**PHYS 116. Introductory Physics II (4) **

Electrostatics, Coulomb's law, Gauss's law; capacitance and
resistance; DC circuits; magnetic fields; electromagnetic
induction; RC and RL circuits; light; geometrical optics;
interference and diffraction; special relativity. Introduction to
quantum mechanics; elements of atomic, nuclear and particle
physics. This course has a laboratory component. Prereq: PHYS115.
Students may earn credit for only one of the following courses:
PHYS 116, PHYS 122, PHYS 124. (*available spring and summer*)

**PHYS 121. General Physics I. Mechanics (4) **

Particle dynamics. Newton's laws of motion, energy and momentum
conservation, rotational motion, and angular momentum
conservation. This course has a laboratory component. Advisory
Prereq: MATH121, MATH123, MATH125 or one year of high school
calculus. [NOTE - *This prereq is advisory only because the
Student Information System cannot check high school courses for
prerequisites. Students who do not have the appropriate
background should not enroll in PHYS 121 without first
consulting the instructor*.] Students may earn credit for
only one of the following courses: PHYS 115, PHYS 121, PHYS 123. (*available
fall, spring & summer*)

**PHYS 122. General Physics II. Electricity and Magnetism
(4) **

Electricity and magnetism emphasizing the basic electromagnetic
laws of Gauss, Ampere, and Faraday. Maxwell's equations and
electromagnetic waves, interference, and diffraction. This course
has a laboratory component Prereq: PHYS121 or PHYS123. Prereq or
Coreq: MATH122, MATH124 or MATH126. Students may earn credit for
only one of the following courses: PHYS 116, PHYS 122, PHYS 124. (*available
fall, spring & summer*)

**PHYS 123. Physics & Frontiers I - Mechanics (4) **

The Newtonian dynamics of a particle and of rigid bodies. Energy,
momentum, and angular momentum conservation with applications. A
selection of special frontier topics as time permits, including
fractals and chaos, special relativity, fluid mechanics,
cosmology, quantum mechanics. This course has a laboratory
component. Admission to this course is by invitation only.
Admission to this course is by invitation only. Students may earn
credit for only one of the following courses: PHYS 115, PHYS 121,
PHYS 123. (*available fall semesters*)

**PHYS 124. Physics & Frontiers II - Electricity and
Magnetism (4) **

Time-independent and time-dependent electric and magnetic fields.
The laws of Coulomb, Gauss, Ampere, and Faraday. Microscopic
approach to dielectric and magnetic materials. Introduction to the
usage of vector calculus; Maxwell's equations in integral and
differential form. The role of special relativity in
electromagnetism. Electromagnetic radiation. This course has a
laboratory component. Prereq: PHYS123 or consent of department.
Prereq or Coreq: MATH122 or MATH124. Students may earn credit for
only one of the following courses: PHYS 116, PHYS 122, PHYS 124. (*available
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 137 Scientific Frontiers: Origins (3)**

This course will provide undergraduates, both science and
non-science majors, with a general perspective of the modern state
of our physical understanding of the universe, including
outstanding puzzles at the forefront of modern science, focusing
on the questions of origins: the origin of the universe, of our
galaxy, of matter, of life, etc. (*This course has not been
offered since fall 2007 and there are no plans to offer it in
the near future.*)

**PHYS 166 Physics Today and Tomorrow (1) **

This course will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the most exciting and timely research areas in physics, as well as other topics germane to being a professional physicist. These discussions will cover fields such as nanoscience, ultrafast optics, exotic materials, biophysics, cosmology, string theory and the role of physicists in developing new technologies. Each week a member of the faculty will meet with students to discuss a topic of current interest, how a physicist approaches the problem, and how physicists interact with others to find a solution. Other topics germane to being a professional physicist also will be discussed, including the relationship among academic, industrial, and governmental laboratories; ethics; and non-traditional careers for students trained in physics. (PHYS 166 is graded on a PASS/NOPASS basis.)

A sample syllabus for PHYS 166 is available HERE. (*available fall &
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 188. On Being a Scientist (1) **[*PHYS
188 is a cross-listing of a course that is controlled by the
Department of Astronomy*.]

This course will focus on the question "What makes a good scientist?" using a weekly discussion of articles chosen from the "Science Times." It will build important oral communication skills via a discussion of the broader context and implications of the science discussed. Cross-listed with ASTR 188, ANTH 188, GEOL 188, PSCL 188, SOCI 188, and WMST 188.

**PHYS 196. Energy and Society (3) **

Global and national perspectives on the problems of energy supply
and demand, global warming, oil cartels, solar, nuclear and wind
energy, energy history, politics and economics of fossil fuels and
alternative energy sources. Cross-listed as GEOL196, HSTY196 and
POSC196. (*This course has not been offered for several years
and there are no plans to offer it in the near future. There is,
however, a related course offered every fall - FSNA 103 Energy
and Society.*)

**PHYS 203. Analog and Digital Electronics (4) **

Elements of both analog and digital electronics from the
practical viewpoint of the experimental scientist; AC circuits,
linear and non-linear operation of op-amps, logic gates,
flip-flops, counters, display, memory, transducers, A/D and D/A
conversion. Laboratory work involves quantitative investigation of
the operation of all these elements, together with projects that
explore their combination. Advisory Prereq: PHYS122 or PHYS124. (*available
fall semesters*)

**PHYS 204. Advanced Instrumentation Laboratory (4) **

Principles of experimental design: limits of resolution via
band-width, thermal noise, background signals; data acquisition
and control by computer; computer simulation; signal processing
techniques in frequency and time domains, FFT, correlations, and
other transform methods; counting techniques. Applications include
lock-in amplifiers, digitizing oscilloscopes and data acquisition
systems. Advisory Prereq: PHYS203 and PHYS221. (*available
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 208. Instrumentation and Signal Analysis Laboratory
(4) **

AC circuit theory, Fourier series, discrete Fourier series.
Fourier integral, discrete Fourier integral; analysis in time and
frequency domains, correlation, cross correlation and other
transform techniques; computer control of experiments via IEEE488
interface; advanced instrumentation; DMM, arbitrary waveform
generator, multiplexing and digitizing oscilloscopes; experimental
design, noise; design, construction, and testing of a lock-in
amplifier. Prereq: ENGR210, Advisory Prereq: PHYS221. (*available
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 221. Introduction to Modern Physics (3) **

Concepts in special relativity, statistical mechanics and quantum
mechanics and their impacts on modern technology. Applications to
atomic structure, and selected topics in nuclear, condensed matter
physics, particle physics, and cosmology. Prereq: PHYS116, PHYS122
or PHYS124. (*available fall & spring semesters*)

**PHYS 250. Computational Methods in Physics (3) **

Numerical methods, data analysis, and error analysis applied to
physical problems. Use of personal computers in the solution of
practical problems encountered in physics. Interpolation, roots of
equations, integration, differential equations, Monte Carlo
techniques, propagation of errors, maximum likelihood,
convolution, Fourier transforms. Prereq: ENGR131 or EECS 132. Pre
or Coreq: MATH224. (*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 301. Advanced Laboratory Physics I (3) **

Problem solving approach with a range of available experiments in
classical and modern physics. Emphasis on experimental technique
and data and error analysis, and the formal presentation of the
work performed. Co-req: PHYS 303, Advisory Prereq: PHYS204. (*available
fall semesters*)

**PHYS 302. Advanced Laboratory Physics II (4) **

Several projects using research-quality equipment in contemporary
fields of experimental physics. Each requires reading appropriate
literature, choosing appropriate instrumentation, performing data
acquisition and analysis, and writing a technical paper. Topics
include particle counting techniques, neutron activation,
gamma-ray spectroscopy, a range of condensed matter experiments
including temperature dependent properties between 10 and 350 K,
modern optics, ultrahigh vacuum surface science. Advisory Prereq:
PHYS301. (*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 303. Advanced Laboratory Physics Seminar (1) **

Students will discuss various issues associated with physics
research. These include how to judge the quality of an
experiment and data (error analysis), how to present your work in
written and oral formats, safety and ethical concerns in the
laboratory. PHYS 303 plus PHYS 352 is an approved SAGES
Departmental Seminar. Advisory Prereq: PHYS 250. (*available
fall semesters*)

**PHYS 310. Classical Mechanics (3) **

Lagrangian formulation of mechanics and its application to
central force motion, scattering theory, rigid body motion, and
systems of many degrees of freedom. Advisory Prereq: PHYS221 and
either MATH223 or MATH227. (*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 313. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (3) **

Thermodynamic laws, entropy, and phase transitions from the
quantum mechanical viewpoint. Gibbs and Boltzmann factors. Ideal,
degenerate fermion, degenerate boson, photon, and phonon gases.
Correlation functions and transport phenomena. Applications
ranging from solid state physics to astrophysics. Prereq: PHYS221.
(*available fall semesters*)

**PHYS 315. Introduction to Solid State Physics (3) **

Characterization and properties of solids; crystal structure,
thermal properties of lattices, quantum statistics, electronic
structure of metals and semiconductors. Prereq: PHYS331 or PHYS
481. (*available fall semesters*)

**PHYS 316. Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics
(3) **

The physics of nuclei and elementary particles; experimental
methods used to determine their properties; models and theories
developed to describe their structure. Prereq: PHYS331 or PHYS
481. (*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 317. Engineering Physics Laboratory I (3) **

Laboratory course for engineering physics majors. Emphasis is on
experimental techniques, data and error analysis, and written and
oral presentation of work. Four experiments drawn from classical
and modern physics are carried out. These emphasize condensed
matter, material and optical physics. Experiments include electric
fields, resistivity of materials, optical interference, chaotic
systems and spectroscopy. Design of data analysis systems and
software is required. Prereq: PHYS208. Co-req: PHYS 303. (*available
fall semesters*)

**PHYS 318. Engineering Physics Laboratory II (4) **

Laboratory course for engineering physics majors. Several
projects using research-quality equipment in contemporary fields
of experimental physics. Open-ended experiments each require
reading appropriate literature, designing the experiment,
performing data analysis, and writing a technical paper. Topics
are drawn from areas of modern physics, and concentrate on
condensed matter, material, and optical physics. Prereq: PHYS317.
(*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 320. Introduction to Biological Physics (3) **

This course explores the intersection of physics and biology: how
do fundamental physical laws constrain life processes inside the
cell, shaping biological organization and dynamics? We will start
at the molecular level, introducing the basic ideas of
nonequilibrium statistical physics and thermodynamics required to
describe the fluctuating environment of the cell. This allow us to
build up a theoretical framework for a variety of elaborate
cellular machines: the molecular motors driving cell movement, the
chaperones that assist protein folding, the information-processing
circuitry of genetic regulatory networks. The emphasis throughout
will be on simple, quantitative models that can tackle the
inherent randomness and variability of cellular phenomena We
will also examine how to verify these models through the rich
toolbox of biophysical experimental and computational
technologies. The course should be accessible to students from
diverse backgrounds in the physical and life sciences: we will
explain both the biological details and develop the necessary
mathematical / physical ideas in a self-contained manner.
Prerequisite: (MATH 122 or 124) and (ENGR 131 or EECS 132) (*available
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 324. Electricity and Magnetism I (3) **

First half of a sequence that constitutes a detailed study of the
basics of electromagnetic theory and many of its applications.
Electrostatics and magnetostatics of free space, conductors,
dielectric and magnetic materials; basic theory illustrated with
applications drawn from condensed matter physics, optics, plasma
physics, and physical electronics. Prerequisite: PHYS 116, 122 or
124. (*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 325. Electricity and Magnetism II (3) **

Continuation of PHYS 324. Electrodynamics, Maxwell's equations,
electromagnetic waves, electromagnetic radiation and its
interaction with matter, potential formulation of
electromagnetism, and relativity. Prerequisite: PHYS 324 (*available
fall semesters*)

**PHYS 326. Physical Optics (3) **

Geometrical optics and ray tracing, wave propagation, interaction
of electromagnetic radiation with matter, interference,
diffraction, and coherence. Supplementary current topics from
modern optics such as nonlinear optics, holography, optical
trapping and optical computing. Prerequisite may be waived with
consent of department. Prereq: PHYS122 or PHYS124. (*available
most spring semesters but might be offered in the fall instead*)

**PHYS 327. Laser Physics (3) ** (*This course
was named "Quantum Electronics" before fall 2013*.)

An introduction to theoretical and practical quantum electronics
covering topics in quantum optics, laser physics, and nonlinear
optics. Topics to be addressed include the physics of two-level
quantum systems including the density matrix formalism, rate
equations and semiclassical radiation theory; laser operation
including oscillation, gain, resonator optics, transverse and
longitudinal modes, Q-switching, mode-locking, and coherence; and
nonlinear optics including the nonlinear susceptibility,
parametric interactions, stimulated processes and self-action.
Prereq: Physics 331 or 481. (*available most spring semesters
but some years has been offered in the fall instead*)

**PHYS 328 **. **Cosmology and the Structure
of the Universe ****(3) **[*PHYS 328 is
a cross-listing of a course that is controlled by the Department
of Astronomy*.]

Distances to galaxies. The content of the distant universe. Large
scale structure and galaxy clusters. Physical Cosmology. Structure
and galaxy formation and evolution. Testing cosmological models. (*This
course is an ASTR course with a PHYS cross-listing. Its title is
similar to PHYS 336 Cosmology and you should consult with recent
instructors for these courses if you need assistance with
distinguishing between them. Note that ASTR/PHYS 328 has an ASTR
221/222 prerequisite. *

**PHYS 329. Independent Study (1-4) **

An individual reading course in any topic of mutual interest to
the student and the faculty supervisor. (*available spring
& fall semesters*)

**PHYS 331. Quantum Mechanics I (3) **

Quantum nature of energy and angular momentum, wave nature of
matter, Schroedinger equation in one and three dimensions; matrix
methods; Dirac notation; quantum mechanical scattering. Two
particle wave-functions. Prereq: PHYS221. (*available fall
semesters*)

**PHYS 332. Quantum Mechanics II (3) **

Continuation of PHYS 331. Spin and fine structure; Dirac
equation; symmetries; approximation methods; atomic and molecular
spectra; time dependent perturbations; quantum statistics;
applications to electrons in metals and liquid helium. Prereq:
PHYS331. (*available spring semesters*)

**PHYS 336. Modern Cosmology (3) **

An introduction to modern cosmology, and an explanation of
current topics in the field. The first half of the course will
cover the mathematical and physical basis of cosmology, while the
second will delve into current questions and the observations that
constrain them. Prereq: PHYS221. (*This course might appear
similar to PHYS 328 Cosmology, which is a cross-listing of ASTR
328. You should consult with a recent instructor for these
courses if you need assistance with distinguishing between them.
PHYS 336 is not offered every year although it was available in
spring 2012, 2013 & 2016. Check with the department academic
representative to determine when the next offering is planned.*)

**PHYS 339. Seminar (1-3) **

Conducted in small sections with presentation of papers by
students and informal discussion. Special problem seminars and
research seminars offered according to interest and need, often in
conjunction with one or more research groups. Prereq: Consent of
department. (*available fall & spring semesters*)

**PHYS 349 Methods of Mathematical Physics I (3) **

Analysis of complex functions: singularities, residues, contour
integration; evaluation and approximation of sums and integrals;
exact and approximate solution of ordinary differential equations;
transform calculus; Sturm-Liouville theory; calculus of
variations. Prereq: MATH224. (*available fall semesters*)

**PHYS 350. Methods of Mathematical Physics II (3) **

(Continuation of PHYS 349.) Special functions, orthogonal
polynomials, partial differential equations, linear
operators, group theory, tensors, selected special
topics. Prereq: PHYS349. (*PHYS 350 will be not be
offered every year. It was offered in spring 2012 but not spring
2013. Students should contact the Director of Undergraduate
Studies to find out when it will next be available.*)

**PHYS 351. Senior Physics Project (4 credits total, 2
credits each semester) **

A two semester course required for senior BS and BA physics
majors. Students pursue a project based on experimental,
theoretical or teaching research under the supervision of a
physics faculty member, a faculty member from another CWRU
department or a research scientist or engineer from another
institution. A departmental Senior Project Committee must approve
all project proposals and this same committee will receive regular
oral and written progress reports. Final results are presented at
the end of the second semester as a paper in a style suitable for
publication in a professional journal as well as an oral report in
a public symposium. ( *approved SAGES capstone *) Prereq:
PHYS303, Coreq: PHYS 352. For more information, see Senior
Projects/Senior Projects.htm . (*available fall &
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 352. Senior Physics Project Seminar (2 credits
total, 1 credit each semester) **

This two semester seminar is taken concurrently with the
student's two semester senior project. Students meet weekly
to discuss their projects and the research experience. The
class will include dialogues about professional issues such as
ethics, graduate school, jobs, funding, professional
organizations, public obligations, writing and speaking.
Assignments include proposals, progress reports, and
posters. PHYS 352 plus PHYS 303 is an approved SAGES
Departmental Seminar. Coreq: PHYS 351 or PHYS 353. (*available
fall & spring semesters*)

**PHYS 353. Senior Engineering Physics Project (4 credits
total, 2 credits each semester) **

A two semester course required for BSE Engineering Physics
majors. Students are expected to complete a research project in
their concentration area under the supervision of a faculty member
in science, engineering, or, with approval, a researcher at
another institution or company. The project may be calculational,
experimental or theoretical, and will address both the underlying
physics and appropriate engineering and design principles. A
program Senior Project Committee must approve all project
proposals and will receive regular oral and written progress
reports. Final results are presented at the end of the second
semester as a paper in a style suitable for publication in a
professional journal as well as an oral report in a public
symposium. (approved SAGES capstone) Prereq: PHYS318, Coreq: PHYS
352. For more information, see Senior
Projects/Senior Projects.htm . (*available fall &
spring semesters*)

**PHYS 365. General Relativity (3) **

This is a first course in general relativity. The techniques of
tensor analysis will be developed and used to describe the effects
of gravity and Einstein's theory. Consequences of the theory as
well as its experimental tests will be discussed. An introduction
to cosmology will be given. Admission to this course requires
consent of the department. (*PHYS 365 is not offered every
year; it was available in spring 2011, 2012 & 2014 but not
in spring 2013. Check with the department academic
representative to determine when the next offering is planned.*)

**PHYS 390. Undergraduate Research in Physics (3-6)**

Research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in
the Department of Physics. Arrangements must be made with a
faculty member and a written description of these arrangements
must be submitted to and approved by the department before a
permit will be issued to register for this course. A final report
must be supplied to the department at the end of the semester.
Prereq: Consent of department. For more information, see http://www.phys.cwru.edu/undergrad/PHYS390/PHYS390.htm
. (*available fall & spring semesters*)

**PHYS 100-TR, PHYS 200-TR and PHYS 300-TR**. **PHYS
100, 200 or 300 Level Transfer Course** **(3 or
more)**

These course numbers are available to provide transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere that clearly merit CWRU credit but which don't correspond to a course offered by our department.

**SAGES FIRST & UNIVERSITY SEMINARS**

**FSCC 100. Life of the Mind**

This four credit-hour course provides an introduction to various
dimensions of academic life. It will be characterized by intense
yet open-ended intellectual inquiry, guided by reading from
primary as well as secondary sources, and will include practice in
written and oral communication in small groups. Each seminar is
led both by a faculty member and a writing co-instructor. The
goals are to enhance basic intellectual skills of academic
inquiry, such as critical reading, thoughtful analysis, and
written and oral communication; to introduce basic information
literacy skills; to provide a foundation for ethical
decision-making; to encourage a global and multidisciplinary
perspective on the learning process; to facilitate faculty-student
interactions; and, in the most general sense, to provide a
supportive common intellectual experience for first-year students
at Case. This seminar is about finding our themes, both as
individual writers, and as a class. Authors Gladwell, Foer and
Sandel will provide the initial grist for our mill. Students will
make as many choices as is feasible in setting the direction of
the course. (*offered in fall 2011 by P. Kernan*)

**FSCC 100. Life of the Mind**

This four credit-hour course provides an introduction to various
dimensions of academic life. It will be characterized by intense
yet open-ended intellectual inquiry, guided by reading from
primary as well as secondary sources, and will include practice in
written and oral communication in small groups. Each seminar is
led both by a faculty member and a writing co-instructor. The
goals are to enhance basic intellectual skills of academic
inquiry, such as critical reading, thoughtful analysis, and
written and oral communication; to introduce basic information
literacy skills; to provide a foundation for ethical
decision-making; to encourage a global and multidisciplinary
perspective on the learning process; to facilitate faculty-student
interactions; and, in the most general sense, to provide a
supportive common intellectual experience for first-year students
at Case. (*offered in fall 2009 by J. Ruhl* *and P.
Kernan*)

**FSNA 103. Energy and Society**

This four-credit-hour course provides an introduction to
collegiate writing and to various dimensions of academic life, but
will focus on the critical appreciation of the world of energy.
Currently, most of the world runs on non-renewable resources; this
course is designed to help students develop viewpoints about these
issues, and to express themselves in a clear, coherent way.
The class will involve both literacy and numeracy, and students
will learn to become comfortable handling some of the quantitative
measures of energy use. The class will be characterized by intense
yet open-ended intellectual inquiry, guided by reading, lectures
and discussion, and will include practice in written and oral
communication individually and in small groups. (*offered in
fall 2012 and previous falls since 2005 by P. Taylor*, *G.
Chottiner & J. Ruhl, fall 2013 -2015 by P. Taylor*)*.*

**FSNA 124. The Challenge of Sustainability**

This four-credit-hour course provides an introduction to
collegiate writing and to various dimensions of academic life, but
will focus on the critical appreciation of the challenges we face
in transitioning - or failing to transition - to a sustainable
society. Climate change, along with increased development
and population, are altering the natural environment we live in
and rely on. This course will review some of the current and
future impacts of these changes, and explore alternate paths
forward and how they might be forged. The class will involve
both literacy and numeracy, and students will learn to become
comfortable handling some of the quantitative measures relevant to
sustainability issues. The class will be characterized by
intense yet open-ended intellectual inquiry, guided by reading,
lectures and discussion, and will include practice in written and
oral communication. (*offered in fall 2010, 2014, 2015 by J.
Ruhl)*

**FSNA 138. Light**

This course explores Light, otherwise know as visible
electromagnetic radiation. We will examine what light is in
its various forms; how it is created and detected; how we perceive
it; and how it has influenced our evolutionary development, our
technological, artistic, and religious cultures, and our
conceptions of space and time. Students will discuss topics
suggested by the course readings and by exposure to the many
scientific activities, historical artifacts, and artistic works on
the CWRU campus and at other local institutions that involve light
in a significant way. (*initial offerings in fall 2012 &
2014 by K. Kowalski, approved as a regular offering*)

**USNA 228. Time**

This seminar course will explore the nature of time from many
stances, including those of Psychology, Biology, Technology and
Philosophy. Yet time is central to Physics, and in Physics we will
orient our explorations of time. Our understanding of time has
sharpened a great deal in the last few centuries, the most obvious
markers being Newton's Absolute time, which remains entrenched in
modern culture, and its subsequent physical overthrow by
Einstein's relativity. Given the physical primacy of Einstein's
time, many questions arise: How malleable is the concept of time?
Is there a fact of time? Can the present be defined? The past? The
future? The successes of modern Cosmology lead us to ask: Was
there a beginning of time? Will time end? The symmetry of
fundamental physical laws with respect to the direction of time,
counterpointed by asymmetric phenomena, lead to: Is there a master
arrow of time? Is the flow of time an illusion? In this course we
will investigate what "Time" is telling us about the natural world
and ourselves. (*offered in spring 2013, 2015, 2016 by P.
Kernan*)

**USNA 263. Reading and Writing Science**

This seminar will examine the ways in which science is
communicated to the non-scientist public. The goals are to
teach the students to be critical consumers (readers, viewers,
and/or listeners) of science as it appears in the public sphere,
and to teach the students how to write about science for
non-scientists. The course is co-taught by a scientist with
experience writing for and speaking to the public, and by a
science journalist. Students will engage with popularized
science in a variety of formats--including newspaper and magazine
articles, radio and television news and talk shows, television
documentaries, internet postings, public lectures and popular
books. We will make particular use of University Circle
opportunities, such as public lectures both at CWRU and at
neighboring institutions (e.g. the Explorer series at
CMNH)--attending the lectures and, if possible, interacting with
the speakers as a class. Several local or visiting science
authors will be invited to participate in class discussions on
their books. We will pay particular attention to how scientific
stories are told in "the media", through weekly examinations of
science news stories. In relation to all these forms of
communication, we will learn to ask who the author(s) is/are, how
his/her/their training and relation to the story, as well as other
factors, affects how the story gets told, and how to interrogate
authorial claims. We will also practice writing science
stories, with each student producing at least one piece for
possible publication through university internal communications
channels, and perhaps, ultimately, for distribution to external
news organizations. (*offered in spring 2012 by G. Starkman*)

**USNA 288C. Physics for Future Innovators &
World leaders
**

We live in an increasingly technological society. Advances
in technology improve our lives in countess ways, but they
sometimes produce problems and challenges that are so complex that
the average business or political leader cannot understand
them--and therefore cannot make effective decisions to address
them. Whether the problem is what to do about climate
change, how to identify investment-worthy energy sources, how to
provide sufficient and sustainable food and energy to the world's
population, or how to determine if an investment trend is a
dangerous bubble, we will find better solutions if we have leaders
who have an adequate understanding of basic physical principles
and how physical "laws"--such as conservation of energy,
exponential growth and decay, and gravity--can dictate the
sagaciousness or feasibility of various solutions and
applications. This course is designed to equip students with
that knowledge. Using very little math, we will consider how
an understanding of basic physical principles related to energy,
force, space, electromagnetism, waves, and exponential growth can
help us make sense of some of our most pressing technological
problems. In addition, we will also examine issues related
to the social uses of technology, including realistic timelines
for technological development, incremental versus radical
improvements, rapid estimation, identification of need,
cost-benefit analysis, identifying spin in news reports,
intellectual property rules, and ethical citation of
sources. Class time will consist of group discussion,
student presentations, and "Fermi Problems" (complex, creative
problem solving with order-of-magnitude estimations). (*offered
in spring 2012, 2015, 2016 by E. Caner*)